IRELAND: Happy St Patrick’s Day!
It’s that time of year again when everyone becomes just a little Irish. And what’s another year, you might cry. Well, on this most Irish of days, we’ve put together a short list of tunes that demonstrate Irishness. We think so anyway. These may not be winners, but we like them.
We start with one to get your feet tapping. It’s from Muriel Day, who we saw in Madrid 50 years ago. She wore a proper green dress and her manner was more than a little like Sandie Shaw, who’d won for neighbours the UK in 1967. Here’s The wages of love.
Next on, we take the tempo down a little, with a song that was evocative of the Irish countryside, particular County Clare. We get turf smoke, larks, and long walks. Sean Dunphy sang this song in Vienna in 1967, and it finished second behind the aforementioned Sandie Shaw.
Of course, Ireland has always had the choice of two languages to sing in, even when there was no free language rule. In Eurosong’s (Irish national finals) of old, we often saw at least one song in the Irish language – Gaeilge as it’s often called. It was used but once, in 1972 by Sandie Jones. Here’s Ceol an ghrá (The music of love)
Moving the the 1980s, this song was the host entry when we were in Dublin/Baile Átha Cliath in 1981. In the national final, it beat a song about a parrot by only three points. The song? It’s Horoscopes by Sheeba. Why have we picked it? Because predicting Ireland’s eighth (yes, Sweden, eighth) win is always a fun game to play.
Moving back to the Irish langauge, we’ve picked this one, which is bound to get your foot tapping. It’s called Amhrán an Ronnach (song of the mackerel), and comes from the 1996 national. Seán Monaghan’s song was beaten by Eimear Quinn, and we know how she did in Oslo.
Moving up to the present day, Ireland is a very progressive and inclusive nation. You’ll know that if you were watching the contest from Lisbon last year. In this age of equality, it’s good to see Ryan O’Shaughnessy showing us what a place Ireland has become. Here’s Together.
Finally, there’s only one way to finish, and it’s upbeat again. In 2008, we were in Belgrade, and Ireland’s seven wins were starting to become a distant memory. To celebrate this, and the wider contest itself, Ireland didn’t send a man, woman, or group to sing. It sent a turkey. Dustin the Turkey. Thoroughly unique in his delivery, he sadly failed to make the final. But we still love him. But i’m sure you agree that we’d love to here Irelande douze points (sic) again.
So wherever and however you’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day, enjoy yourself. And don’t forget to to cheer on Sarah McTernan in May.
And what song sums up Irishness for you? Is it one of these, or something else? Tell us what you think.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland